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Bane (Jeep Swenson)

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General Information
Real name: Antonio Diego
Aliases: Bane of Humanity
Alignment: Bad
Affiliation: Dr. Jason Woodrue (Creator)
Poison Ivy (Mistress)
Mr. Freeze (Partner)
Characteristics: Gender - Male
Hair - None
Eyes - Brown
Portrayed by: Jeep Swenson
Michael Reid McKay (as Antonio Diego)
Appearances: Batman & Robin

―Antonio Diego yelling out his new name upon his transformation.[src]
Bane was Poison Ivy's enforcer. His name was bestowed upon him by Dr. Jason Woodrue, intending him to be the "bane of humanity", and the perfect guinea pig for an entire army of super-soldiers.



Antonio Diego before becoming Bane.

Antonio Diego was a prisoner in the South-American jail of Pena Duro, apparently serving a life sentence for murder, and was also the sole surviving volunteer for Jason Woodrue's "Project Gilgamesh". He was selected to be the test subject for military tests involving the experimental drug Venom and was Dr. Jason Woodrue's first successful subject. Woodrue first had his hair permanently removed, and then had five holes drilled into his skull with the largest being at the base of the back of his skull. He was strapped down in front of a large audience of foreign dictators, American military generals, commanders, commissars, sheiks and terrorists to an operating table, where massive, concentrated overdoses of Venom were purposely pumped into his skull and circulatory systems. Through the Luchador-style mask he was forced to wear--one with five tubes snaked into his skull--Diego is seen writhing and screaming in agony for roughly fifteen seconds before he begins to change. Originally Diego was comparatively scrawny and diminutive, but when the Venom started to take effect, he turned into a hulking monster with superhuman strength, or the "ideal killing machine", in Dr. Woodrue's words.

After Dr. Pamela Isley became Poison Ivy, she took the newly christened Bane with her to Gotham City to act as her enforcer. Bane helped scare the Golums from their hangout in the abandoned Turkish Baths, as well as assisting in freeing Mr. Freeze from Arkham Asylum and retrieving his cryogenic armour from the Asylum's prisoner storage locker.

At Mr. Freeze's hideout, Snowy Cones Ice Cream Factory, Batman and Robin, along with Commissioner Gordon and the Gotham City Police Department, investigated the hideout for clues to the criminal's whereabouts. During the investigation, Batman and Robin discovered that Poison Ivy was close by after getting a dose of her pheromone dust. Following its direction, they began to look for Ivy, only to be confronted and challenged by Bane, who proved more than a match for the Dynamic Duo with his ferocious strength. Ivy and Bane successfully escaped arrest and fled.

Bane eventually accompanied Mr. Freeze to Gotham Observatory and assisted him in taking control of the new telescope, also placing Freeze's icicle bombs around the area.

When Batman, Robin and Batgirl arrived to stop them, Mr. Freeze ordered Bane to kill Batman's two young comrades while he fought the Dark Knight himself. Bane encountered Robin and Batgirl in a cave within the cliffs on which the observatory was built, pinned them both against a wall and attempted to strangle them to death. Robin and Batgirl kicked Bane's main supply tube, disconnecting it from the back of his head and stopping the Venom circulation to his brain in the process. This in turn caused Bane massive withdrawal, also quickly reverting him back to his normal self. He was left behind by Robin and Batgirl as they escaped, but what happened to Bane afterwards is ultimately left ambiguous, as there is no evidence that he died in the fall of the Telescope Platform that occurred shortly afterwards. However, what appears to be the pool of Venom around him is seen around part of the fallen telescope, hinting that he may have been crushed to death.

Behind the scenes

Making of Batman & Robin (1997) - Bane Origins-0-01-23-226

Jeep Swenson and Michael Reid Mackay

  • This interpretation of Bane varies from most appearances in comics, in that when strengthened by Venom he does not retain his above-average intellect and cunning, but rather is reduced to a far less than average I.Q. Having near god-like physical strength, yet often having an intellect far below that of their enemies, is a cliche that can be viewed among other opponents in Batman's rogues gallery, including Solomon Grundy, and in many interpretations, Clayface and Killer Croc.
  • Rather than being the devious, intelligent villain of the comics, this version is an inarticulate thug who serves as the bodyguard, henchman and assistant to Poison Ivy, the primary villain of the film. Bane is barely even capable of speech and uses growls, roars, and snarls for most of his communication; only occasionally roaring single words or short, incoherent sentences. Despite this particular change in his character, he is still muscular, wears an accurate replication of his classic costume and mask, and is still superhumanly strong; easily overpowering various thugs, police officers, and holding his own against both Batman and Robin in hand-to-hand combat.
  • This depiction of the character was one of many aspects of the film which received harsh criticism from fans and critics alike.
  • This particular interpretation seems to resemble Samson, a Biblical character who possessed almost superhuman physique and strength, but only when his hair was growing. When it was removed from him, he became diminutive and skinny. Christopher Nolan's version of the character and Mr Freeze both defied this convention.


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